In Memoriam

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W. Donald Fletcher ’29

W. Donald Fletcher ’29, August 24, 1996, in Torrence, California. He attended Reed College for two years and then transferred to Stanford University, where he earned a BA in 1930 and a law degree in 1934. He practiced law in San Francisco until the late ’30s, when he met financier Van Duyn Dodge, and the two began working to found the nonprofit, nonpartisan Coro Foundation. The organization's goals were to train the public in "more effective citizen involvement and more capable political leadership." The first nine-month Coro internship program to train participants for careers in public service began in 1947 in San Francisco. By the organization’s 50th anniversary in 1992, the organization had five centers across the country and had trained over 800 people, and its alumni included such notables as U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and film critic Gene Siskel. Donald remained with Coro until 1975, when he resigned to form the Liaison Citizen Program in Los Angeles, a nonprofit that prepares low-income minority youth for civic involvement in their communities. He was executive officer of that organization until his death. California Governor Pete Wilson said of Donald, "He reinstilled in the American public a feeling of personal responsibility and helped many realize their dreams." He is survived by his wife, Louise Hahn Fletcher; a son; and two daughters.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 1996

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